What is a heritage turkey?
Unlike chickens, ducks and geese, which are made up of a number of different breeds, domestic turkeys comprise but one breed, with a number of varieties. The Australian Poultry Standards (2nd edition) recognises nine varieties. Check the Photo Gallery to identify standard and new/developmental varieties.
A heritage turkey is one which:
1. can mate naturally.
2. is adaptable to variations in its surroundings e.g. food, weather.
3. has a life-span of at least five years.
4. has played a role in the development of the Australian turkey industry.
The Australian Heritage Turkey Society is a not-for-profit association with all monies raised from membership fees and fundraisers being used to further contribute to the goals of the Society e.g. to promote varieties of rare and heritage turkeys in Australia through Show Sponsorship (i.e. sashes/ rosettes and prize money), Website maintenance (i.e. license fees), and Publicity (i.e. flyers, banners, magazine advertisements).
Standard Australian Turkeys is a photographic introduction to the nine standard Australian turkey varieties. There are photos of day-old poults as well as mature males and females of each variety. There's also a page on common turkey diseases in the latest edition.
To order a copy of the revised 2020 edition, email the AHTSI Secretary through the Contact page.